Burnley-Arsenal. Your Classic Banana Peel Fixture. Can Gunners Build on their Derby Win or Will the Trip

To Turf Moor Be Too Much?

Tell it like it is Allezkev, our man in the black cab.  Do we have what it takes to cross the bridge ahead?

From the last thread…

Today is a classic banana skin fixture for Arsenal.  It’s what we do, play like champion contenders one week, get everyone excited and then play like a bunch of idiots the next week.

But these are the games, away from fluffy, cozy London, in some nondescript northern football outpost, where your team shows its true mettle.  It’s on the road where you see your team’s championship credentials and it’s where you never know what Arsenal team (in recent times) will turn up?

And so, to Burnley in Lancashire.  A picturesque stadium in a town surrounded by rolling hills.  An old mill town from back in the times when Lancashire was the cotton king of the world, where professional football in England was born–that’s where Arsene takes his schizophrenic team.

On paper it should be a difficult but doable 2-0 win for the Gunners, but Burnley are having a great season and if our players start getting a bit sniffy about playing at their small ground, you know, strolling around as if they’re thinking ‘I’m too good for this,’ then we could get turned over.

So I’m going for a draw.

Great Stuff, Kev!… Even if, deep down, I know you’re really hoping we can take the full points back to London.

Regardless, here are the line-ups:

Arsenal: Cech; Kościelny, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Iwobi, Sanchez; Lacazette.  Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Welbeck,

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmundsson, Cork, Hendrick, Defour, Brady; Barnes.  Subs: Wood, Vokes, Westwood, Long, Arfield, Bardsley, Lindegaard

Our group is totally (get it?…) predictable, except no Mesut Ozil in the squad due to illness.  He’ll be replaced by Alex Iwobi and it’s a shame after the German’s outstanding performance in the Tottenham match a week ago.  Somehow Arsenal will have to break down a very stubborn Burnley side without him.  It’s a big spot for Iwobi but he’s just one of eleven.

Can we do it?  What say you, fine fellow Gooners?  Please join me as I try to describe the action.

Go on then….

by 17highburyterrace (with help from and thanks to, Akev)

235 thoughts on “Burnley-Arsenal. Your Classic Banana Peel Fixture. Can Gunners Build on their Derby Win or Will the Trip

  • Hey folks… We have kicked off and I can tell this will be a wild ride… Just the sort one probably gets in the back of Kev’s cab… Where will it take us today?…

  • 3 mins in and the pattern looks set. Arsenal, in their black cab kits on the ball, Burnley playing quickly in transition…

    A lofted diagonal ball from Alexis (I think) is over Iwobi and out for a GK… Burnley look good enough themselves and Lee Mason gives them a FK from 30 yds out…

  • It’s lofted in but Mustafi is up to it… They keep it down our end but the high diagonal cross is over everybody and it’s back to Cech… His long kick is controlled and moved out to Kolasinac but he;s deemed to have pushed his marker off.

    Burnley come down to our end and look plenty dangerous but we clear via Kos and Bell headers and are back on the ball. This could be quite end to end it appears…

  • A very poor daisy cutter shot by Alexis ends that foray… Though maybe it was deflected out for a corner. It’s taken by Alexis but cleared into touch by the near post defender. Still with us however…

  • Lee Mason. Master of the cock-up decisions. What was that about, giving a free kick then calling a throw in instead?

    Lucky escape for us.

  • Lacazette does well to keep a throw-in going but we lose it and Burnley are strong on the counter. Another diagonal ball is too long for an attacker–sorry, I can’t see which one and I’ve got no sound with my wife sleeping in the same room here. Hint of offside but a bigger hint of danger. We look committed to defending, however…

  • Hey ‘Eris… Yeah, I got confused on that one… WTF?

    Burnley look very sharp and quick to get the ball forward. This seems like it will be very tough… First goal is huge…

  • Hey J-Dub…

    Iwobi loses it near the right touchline… Sorry, but for me, Ozil is a big loss today… Their keeper taking a long kick after we are whistled is very tall. Where’s Heaton today?

    Ooooh, let off there. We lose it on the right, Burnley quickly switch play and a strong angled shot is off the post. Lucky, lucky…

  • Bellerin loses the ball in his area and Burnley pepper our post from the break.

    I think Alexis needs to pick it up. He’s been walking about the pitch, looking less interested than he was last week. I think the midfield and CBs need to squeeze up just as we did vs the spuds. We get a foul called on Brady for a reckless challenge on Kolasinac.

  • They’re more or less waltzing through our MF with ease… A heavy touch leads to a whistle and it’s back with us. We seem to be matching their intensity, but just barely… More whistles. Overall it seems good that Mason is calling it tightly as Burnley look very committed today…

  • Was just thinking same per Ozil.
    Spacing, availability. Even defense in MF that I’m not seeing from Iwobi.
    Burnley is moving through MF with ease right now.


  • Lacazette delivers a great cross in for Ramsey, who blasts over. He did open his body up but failed to connect well with the intended shot in.

  • Lacazette is on the move down the left and picks out Ramsey with a great cross. It’s a tough finish at full speed but he fluffs it over. That was a VERY good chance wasted…

  • Burnley are looking the more likely at this time, but it is still a long way to go and you sense we will have our moments. Good block by Mustafi, putting his body on the line from the header out from a corner kick.

    Cech does well to prevent a goal from a header, as he made himself big to block off. We are a bit under the crush here and need to tidy things up fast.

  • It comes to our end quickly and Burnley have first one then another corner… Which we defend, sort of. Another long diaganol cross will result in another corner after Cech blocks behind from the header. Finally they knock it behind and we can breathe again with Cech booting forward…

  • Cheers for the descriptive help Eris… They are coming at us with the high balls and well delivered corners while also retreating quickly and staying well positioned when we get it. The Ramsey chance looms large… We need to make more but Alexis gives a ball away after decent build up…

  • Very committed defending is required at our end and we get it back, Iwobi getting scythed down and giving us a FK from 40 on the right…

    It’s cleared to but we win a corner as it’s put back in the mix…

  • A deserved YK for Brady’s challenge on Iwobi from behind.
    Burnley has been very aggressive– hopefully a few whistles will slow that.


  • Ooooh… The corner is only half cleared and Nacho takes a pot shot which goes just wide. There might have been a deflection but goal kick is given…

  • Monreal has a good hit go just wide, from a corner kick. That’s more like it. We need to seize back the initiative and keep the crowd quiet.

    We need to show the fight needed at these grounds and it was good to see Lacazette coming back to help with the defending when needed.

  • Kola and Alexis can’t work a deep throw and Burnley are back on it… Let’s try again… This time the beast at least clears it back to their keeper… Still, the bulk of the action is in our half…

  • Diagonal run into the box by Alexis– but a bit heavy on the first touch and it’s cleared.


  • Is the crowd loud, Eris?… Can’t tell with the sound off…

    Oooh another good cross but Alexis’ first touch is just heavy and Burnley clear from a very dangerous position. Now we’re showing some threat of our own, Alexis popping up on the right a bit. Some less than pure touches from Kola and others and they withstand it. That was better and maybe our first bit of sustained pressure…

  • Burnley break quickly but we regroup well… Still they come and a good cross requires a Cech punch… Laca looks clear on a break but gets whistled for pushing his marker down…

  • It’s too floaty and Cech grabs it… Then boots it straight to their keeper… Sub optimal, if you ask me…

    35 minutes played and it’s flying by. We’re probably 2nd best but honor’s even (American spelling) seems about right. This Burnley group is a tough lot…

  • Good from Iwobi to make something out of difficult throw in spot on our right… Not so good failing to round the last man and get into the box… Burnley are back at it and Kos is whistled. This one could be dangerous… Maybe 25 yds out and very central…

  • As soon as I type that Ramsey makes a chicken-head-cut-off run at Burnley and allows them to advance easily– resulting in a FK from 22yds– jus tsaved by Cech.


  • The left footer clears the wall and Cech has to push it up and behind for a corner… which we defend and try to break from… It’s not a smooth one but at least we get a small spell of possession…

  • Xhaka tries his chances from 35 yards… Sorry dude but that’s a 1 in 1000 prayer… We’ll need stronger ideas, I fear…

  • Iwobi, again is good to win possession in MF, less so in getting by a marker after an exchange of touches with Alexis… Later his dummy is a poor idea as well. Another shot from distance, this time by Rambo but at least we get a corner from it… It’s cleared and the cross sent back in can only be headed wide by Kolasinac…

  • Kolasinac is looking out of sorts today (started in the NLD, though). Not looking ready to cut out balls and seems more focused on just going through the motions of defending rather than actually defending.

    We get a corner kick off a soft strike by Ramsey. Kolasinac misses a chance to head in from a return ball from the corner kick.

  • The half is winding down and we can’t make something out of a poor kick from their keeper. Kola couldn’t quite control it…

  • Lee Mason again. A coming together involving Ramsey and he’s penalized for that, only because we had the ball in a dangerous situation. He loves to break up our play for such fouls.

  • Brutal clash in the air between Rambo and a Burnley beast. Rambo take the worst of it AND gets whistled for the foul. He’s down on the pitch with a well rung bell…

  • Ramsey is OK and the extra time rolls on… Our throw-in… No, it’s the halftime whistle…

  • From the collision– I was thinking it HAD to be a YK on the Burnley player as he had come central from a wide position– from a distance– to try for the header.


  • OK, down for a coffee on my “traveling set-up” in my parents’ garage… 😀

    This has been a very committed performance and I’ll take nil-nil with a hope that Wenger can make some adjustments to find us a way through. They’ll keep pounding us and likely get some chances of their own but at least we look up for the challenge…

    Your thoughts?…

  • Yeah ‘Eris, agreed.
    Like the whistle on Lacazette earlier– when he made slight contact with the defender on a long, bounding cleared ball — that would have allowed Arsenal to break into the Burnley half.


  • Afternoon FFGs 🙂

    Good performance by the sound of it. Still, why are we playing Iwobi when we have Jack available who is much more an Ozil type AND more experienced. This is not a game for kids and one, Bellerin, is more than enough!

  • Credit to Burnley.
    They are playing harder than Tottenham last Saturday.

    And hey! At least the NBC studio talking-heads aren’t ripping on Arsenal at the half.
    Real progress.


  • Having watched Jack play on Thursday I would be terrified if he was out there today. That match was played a half the pace of this one (I’m being generous) and Jack couldn’t sort out his feet at all. In truth, I think the cult surrounding him is a very strange one, but, then again, there are Gooners out there who probably believe we’re better without Ozil…

    Iwobi, I think has done very well near the middle of the pitch but faltered a bit closer to goal. Lacazette has had to drop deep and has been good there and set up the one really fine chance which Rambo fluffed.

    Burnley are GOOD–and they’ve forced themselves at us with the extra corners (earned) and the extra free kicks (maybe not so earned) but this one could go either way. My pick would be for one of the wingbacks to make something fine happen as we’re not looking able to find a way through the middle…

    2nd half on…

  • Good combo play from Rambo, Iwobi and Alexis but the latter is deemed to have hit Iwobi’s cross out for a goal kick…

  • From the highlights I saw, Jack was our best player but, like Ozil, he needs movement and ball control in front of him. Jack always adds value with his vision and passing ability. I guess we have to agree to disagree re him, but it is not a coincidence that some many rate him extremely highly.

  • Who are these guys?!? Very good defensive positioning but just a bit slow on the break and we’re able to stop Burnley as they counter. Their commitment doesn’t seem diminished by the break at halftime but neither does ours…

    Oooh, there’s a decent chance after good play by Alexis finds Kola. His angled shot is blocked at the point by another very nice leg in by a Burnley defender…

  • Burnley has packed it in near goal.
    For the first time Arsenal has the opportunity to swing the ball around the top and look for movement in the box.

  • We can agree to disagree and Jack certainly has some attributes. I haven’t seen him play in a game at this pace since he hurt himself vs ManU some 4 or 5 years back… Sorry, but for me, Iwobi is the one who should get the big(ger) contract while Jack should get a chance to impress Southgate with a run of league games for a smaller club…

    We’re building some pressure now and maybe Burnley are starting to tire… Iwobi and Alexis do well but Nacho’s cross only hits a Burnley defender… Still, we keep it in their half…

  • Good work from Lacazette to turn a tight ball out to Kola… His cross is popped up and easily claimed by their keeper…

    …Who moves it quickly down our end… Still need to be careful even as our foothold in the match seems to be growing stronger…

  • How does Mason keep making these “errors”, breaking up play for fouls, just when an advantage play will be more beneficial?

  • Kola wins a foul out wide after good work but a poor final ball from Alexis… The latter’s cross is good but punched clear by keeper… They still look quick on the break but we’re more dominant in possession as we near the hour mark…

    A long ball over the top is just a bit too long for Laca…

    Burnley are quite efficient getting it down our end. One ball ends with Cech, another gets a soft whistle outside the corner of our box…

  • I am a big fan of Iwobi but he is not yet in the same league as (a fit) Jack. I am convinced we will need to play Jack today to get something from this game.

  • The FK is claimed by Cech and we’re off after a fine Ramsey turn at the center circle… Nothing comes from it and Burnley come forward working Bellerin for physicality down our right…

  • OK then TA, but I think you’re living in a dream from years ago…

    The ball is going from keeper to keeper but there’s little threat at either end… Until we have a spell of possession and Laca clears his feet to shoot…deflected out for a corner but it’s nicely cleared by Burnley…

  • Decent work on the left by Alexis but his chipped pass can only be curved over the far post by Ramsey. He did well with what he had to work with but bringing the ball under control was likely the better bet…

  • Xhaka gets a sliding tackle from behind– right for once– to whistling chagrin of the fans.
    Some karma involved as the Burnley MF who rang Ramsey’s bell at half– comes away with a half-gaited trot and holding his back.


  • Other end… Kos is everywhere and even Bells does well to get a toe in and get back on his feet to defend. Either team could still win this but the advantage is creeping in our direction. OK, here comes our savior, wee Jack. Iwobi out. Prove me wrong, little man…

  • That’s a PK on Bells!
    Defender did NOT make contact with the ball until after contacting Bellerin.


  • Jack’s forward run was a good decoy for working the ball from left to right but Bellerin can’t ride the tackle on a pass that isn’t quite where it needed to be…

    THAT was a nice display of dribble by Kola but his shot is both highly angled and deflected out for a throw… Another impossible bomb attempted by Nacho… Cooler heads please…

  • Yeah, we’re not going to win this with a whistle, I fear… Just as Mason lets play continue as Jack gets whacked… Their nice break had led to a shot (going just wide, I think) but a little ref protection would be nice…

  • OK, there’s Jack doing some nice work to push a ball up the pitch and working it with Laca. It eventually falls to Kola but again his angled position is tough and he can’t work his way through…

  • Now THERE’s a nice first touch from Jack to Rambo but his ball only finds Laca with 2 defenders on him and there’s no way through… Gotta be careful as Burnley aren’t shying away when in possession…

  • Alexis, trying to break after Kos had blocked a shot with his hand (not called) but goes down to earn a FK… It’s wasted but we build again…

  • Alexis is getting frustrated with Lee Mason… I’m a bit frustrated that his well intended throughballs never seem to go through the defenders he seems not to see…

    Xhaka needs to be careful with lofting those cross-field passes though Bellerin will likely get the blame for failing to bring it down. He keeps it ahead of himself but draws a whistle. At least they can’t break from it…

    Laca off, DW in…

  • That was nice block from Mustafi after a fine turn by the Burnley guy to put us in trouble on the left… A nice break results but Bellerin’s shot is blocked… As is another by Jack, but it’s out for a corner which fails to beat the near post man…

  • At Kings Cross Station now, nothing at all on the radio, it’s very frustrating but I’m glad to hear that Jackie boy is on the pitch.
    Just gonna catch up on the comments.

  • Just like last year, this one will require late heroics if we want to nick the full points…

    Alexis drives through the middle then turns it back… But Burnley clear… Next attack is by Kola who finally gets a cross through but nobody can find the end of it after it gets bounced around…

    Damn, Burnley remain quick to break… Even as they are slow to take their throw after we stop them…

    Both teams getting happier with a nil-nil?…

  • Mustafi has been whistled several times for invading a Burnley player’s ‘personal space’.


  • The tight calls seems all in the home team’s favor… from deep they loft a poor FK right to Cech… DW can’t control his long ball but we keep it in and keep coming. Bellerin’s cross only gets a weak and wide header from Xhaka at the top of the box…

  • 87th minute now and finally Kos gets a call for foul play and we build again… The defender (Kos) gets well forward but sends a poor ball out of play to take even more time off the clock…

  • That was MUCH better from Kos who, again well forward, passes to the top of the box to find Ramsey, He turns but fires into only his marker…

  • Poor layoff by Alexis but Burnley are content just hoofing it clear… Nice work by DW to keep the ball in and we try again…

  • That looked extremely soft but probably enough of a push to avoid a diving review…

    ALEXIS scores it…

  • Were all those niggly whistles by Mason just to set up the penalty? That was highway robbery…

    Still, the spoils are ours…

  • I’ll take that. 3 points at a pressure cooker ground. I, honestly, thought we would be too strong for them and but for our dominant performance in the 2nd half, it looked anything but an easy game. Let’s hope they keep up this attitude when our rivals visit.

  • The thing about the pen, Eris is that the ball was NOWHERE near Ramsey’s head and he may have even slowed down a bit to feel the push…which DID happen. It was tiny though and clearly undeserving of the fish flop. If the PGMOL had any cajones (which I doubt they do) Rambo would be sitting our next three…

    One for each point we’re stealing, however… 😀

  • That’s how you celebrate Thanksgiving…
    4th place above Spuds & Scousers. 😄

    Happy Days.

  • Well Arsenal player say it was a pen so it must be, Perry gives said we were better in the 2nd half so we must have been.

    thats 3 times in a row we have scored in the last minute against these boys and at least two were controversial . Gotta feel for them , but well done our lads

    PS Perry Groves confirmed pen and he is biased.

  • Tarkowsky’s push on Ramsey was unnecessary.
    Pretty sure Sead’s short one-touch cross-lob was going to rise over Ramsey’s reach to head it.


  • What are the commentators saying? If it’s not a B*llsh*t call it’s surely a Bolshevik call… Each according to his need, etc., etc… And we need those points more than Burnley does, I fear, to keep our “big club” stature at least somewhat intact… 😀

    And, in fact, we’re now only behind the silly money clubs in the table and ahead of those little guys from further north in London and LIverpool…

    I’d be beside myself if I were a Burnley supporter… I’m not, however, so I’m sure I’ll sleep just fine…

  • I guess you could call the pen a late bit of nerves from the defender who should have backed off when he saw it was at least a couple of feet above Rambo’s head. Maybe Aaron could have come within 18 inches if he’d gone straight up…

    That said, we all want to live in a Perry Grove world, don’t we…

  • Two years running and we got the late break with referee assistance… Maybe things really do even out in the end… We’ll see next weekend when we play ManU… 😮

  • 17HT–

    I’ve watched it several times now in slo-mo.
    Ramsey surely sells the call.
    But from my eye the defender is falling away from Ramsey after contact– indicating force of reasonable degree. Had it been a flop– the defender IMHO would have continued in the same direction as Ramsey.


  • OK, time to make some coffees for those in the household who woke up during the match… I’d like to hear more from y’all but maybe the smart criminal knows not to return to the scene of the crime…

    I’m being too harsh (or too even handed or trying to be too funny)… I will say this. They did tire as the match went on and we did stay after it, giving 100% to try and create pressure and a breakthrough. I gotta say, however, that Burnley really did impress me and I’ll be counting them to take points from our rivals when they travel up that way…

    Anyhow, looking forward to more post-mortems but the espresso (or cappuccinos for my people) is calling…

  • I’ll ask this then in general– a question open to all:
    Was the PEN call by Lee Mason out of character with the way he called the rest of the match?


  • Take off the rose-tints and watch it again, JW… 😀

    In the end, I think, the defender’s nerves plus Rambo’s, er, instincts, were just the right combination. Additionally, Mason was overdue to make up for all the little calls he’d given their way… And oh how he did…

    Sorry, the Bolshevik in me can’t help but put myself into the shoes of the downtrodden… Again, however, we needed it more than them, so Marx, Engles & Lenin should all be smiling in their graves… Power to the party, or something…

  • Or at least something to be thankful for at the close of the holiday weekend…

    OK, the cappuccino train needs full steam ahead… (That’s funny if you’re an espresso machine guy like me… For the rest of the world, probably not…)

  • First, before I forget– I’m thankful for your efforts again– in live-blogging superbly 17!

    Though then, I lob back the question– had the ball been playable for a header by Ramsey– would that not been considered a PEN? I think in that sense– we’d all have been going nuts if that HADN’T been awarded. So perhaps a tad less-rose-colored?


  • Isn’t the world a little crazy, when everybody around the world can see whats happening and us poor sods in the Uk cant?

    Anyway for what is worth just watched few highlights on the Arsenal list site in Toronto. without the help of Skys multiple cameras I would have to say technically it looked like a pen but was very soft,.if it had been the other way around i would not be happy. if the last three games had all ended in the last minute, I would be incredibly unhappy.

    I think I heard a referee say recently that your upper body cannot be offside. Not sure if that is entirely true? any referees out there? If it is true at first sight the Burnley offside in the first half
    would have been very close. Had a pen been given our man Monreal would have been given an early bath.

    In summary not a good day day to be a Burnley supporter.

  • Perhaps… but, it wasn’t, I don’t think (playable by Ramsey)… We’re nearing halftime in the Town vs City match so we’ll have another chance to see the replay (no DVR here at my parents’ house)…

    HT have a late corner…and another…


    1-nil going to the break…

  • Then there was the PEN not awarded when Brady took Bellerin down in the box– contacting the ball after Bells. A come good by Mason?


  • Interesting Retsub…and tragic, IMO, that those in England can’t see the matches… Only rarely do I enjoy watching a game after I know the result, but maybe I’m not a true aficionado and that would sort of be de rigueur to be one if you lived over there… (How’s that for bringing in some continental words…)

    If there was a shout for a pen on Monreal it looked just about the same as Rambo’s… The attackers head was close but not that close (the same foot or two) and his dive didn’t look affected by much (if any) contact. Maybe they’ll show that one too… The guy was definitely offside as well…

    I dunno about not a good day to be a Burnley supporter. They gave an amazing performance and, in fact, I thought our back line gave an even better showing than they had to against Spuds a week ago. That unit is revitalized with Mustafi back and Kos playing about as well as I can recall… OK here come the highlights…

  • 17HT. I would have to say from my perspective, no matter how well my team played, if my team had been beaten three times 1 – 0 each time the goal being scored in the last minute, two of them controversial I wouldn’t be upset. I might consider biting my arm off and eating the soggy end though

  • Oh Geez, they barely showed it, actually spending more time on the So’ton-Everton game… Gotta sell the adverts while they can, I guess…

    Who are these Burnley guys?… In truth, I cannot recall a more organized and committed (without being dirty…) team up from the Championship in the whole time I’ve been watching English footy, although, of course, Leicester would have to be the most shining example, Those Pulis teams–Stoke & West Brom–were slower moving and all about the set pieces. While most of the others (like Leicester) do well via a strong back-bone and a couple of higher quality attackers who tend to be playing for their move away. English football is outstanding because it (very occasionally) can produce a team like this. It was a very harsh decision but absolutely nothing to be sad about…

    Sterling dives and El Kun converts… So much for Town’s lead vs City… 😦

  • What were the other results that failed to go Burnley’s way? Are you talking about last year’s same fixture or a couple this season…

  • For most Gooners world-over 17– the only way one CAN watch the team for free– is after the fact.
    I, for one, cut my teeth on replays– when live matches weren’t broadcast stateside in the mid-00s.
    Do feel for those held hostage by monopoly. Best way to personally fight that system– is not pay the ransom and watch elsewhere.

    As one who requires high-speed internet for work?
    If I didn’t? I’d snip the cable in a heartbeat.


  • Indeed, it’s crazy… I often say that I used to have a mortgage, now I’ve got a cable bill… The 5 inch diagonal screen (smart-phone) hardware + service (usually bound together) is nutty enough… Add in TV and internet (for those of us who need a keyboard and enjoy a bigger screen) and, while you don’t have to be in the 1%, it sure helps not being in the bottom 90… Sad times, IMO, but what can you do when people vote along color lines and to give it all away to the people at the top? My portfolio of securities just goes up and up and up, so who I am to complain… Unfortunately I don’t find that much comfort in counting my shekels as the world goes to hell around me, however…

    On that note, did I drive JNYC away permanently? Also, what did I say to alienate PE? Gotta recruit some new blood, I fear… Maybe it’s just too much Arsenal winning (although, Thursday, of course, we didn’t)…

    Town still holding City at a draw moving close to the 80th min…

  • City get their 2nd… A combo of not so good defending saved by good keeping but undone by lucky bounces…

    Not quite the early Xmas we got but not pure ruthlessness either…

    Regardless, the runaway continues… (Town are trying and still have a few minutes to keep doing so…)

  • Side netting only on the Town FK and their keeper (an improvement over Hart & Bravo I hate to say) probably had it covered… My guess is that City can kill this from here…

  • FYI– at the link I’d posted above for ‘Full Match’– is also ‘Extended Highlights’.

    For anyone interested– I came across this rundown (on Twitter) of an Arsenal fan and his son who had been visitors to the Arsenal training ground and facilities. Granted the fan does gush somewhat– but some of the insights are what you would hope and expect from the environment of a club with the class of The Arsenal.

    Enjoy: https://twitter.com/NeilBrooksAFC/status/933723603081875456


  • jw1, nice article. I did see it yesterday (?) and it was refreshing to get an insider’s perspective. Can’t ignore the chap was indeed star-struck….😀

  • jw1 says:
    November 26, 2017 at 16:13
    I’ll ask this then in general– a question open to all:
    Was the PEN call by Lee Mason out of character with the way he called the rest of the match?

    In response, I’d say Not. That’s Lee Mason for you; he looks like a Ref who calls certain supituations on instinct. He does make mistakes but gets some right, to the chagrin of the affected side. He was on the money with that late penalty, in my view. The defender made contact with Rambo (tried to make sure he doesn’t get his head on the ball); whether Rambo’s head was going to reach the ball is irrelevant! Obvious and firm Contact was made which caused Ramsey to go down awkwardly to make sure the Ref sees it. Penalty, all day long!

    And like jw1 rightly reminded us, he had not given that stonewall penalty on Bellerin. We hadn’t made too much fuss about it, as a disciplined group, but it should have been given.

    We are up in 4th place and could be 3rd after the Manchester derby, if we keep winning up to that weekend’s round of fixtures.

  • Vermaelen starts for Barcelona in a crucial game at Valencia. Nice to see him playing again to help his chances on the World Cup train for Belgium.

    Gabriel Paulista is also starting for Valencia and has executed a couple of his characteristic “agricultural” clearances/tackles already. Love the lad’s enthusiasm.

  • I was actually quite pi**ed with Lee Mason, as it seemed that he was bought by the dives of the opponents and had waved away a penalty on Bells. Even the commentators on Live TV said that was a definite penalty, to make matters worse.

    Had we not been able to force the penalty at the end I would have my usual choice of words for him.

    The midfield and Iwobi did not click, to be honest. Passes were way off, and only when Wilshere came on did we play better.

    Our back 3 were quite good yesterday, but we played like we were facing a wall the width of the pitch, and boy was it tough to breach that wall.

  • There was a write-up in the Guardian that encapsulated the match and history, it’s momentum swings, the emotions, and both Manager’s perspectives:


    Dyche, though quite tongue-in-cheek– was far more pragmatic than the whining Pochettino a week earlier.

    IMHO– both teams deserved 1 point. One team deserved the chance at three.


  • 17HT–

    Your earlier impassioned expression for the ways that Burnley plays it’s defensive football?
    Apparently has an historical basis in the way it was constructed– based on examples of tactics from turn-of-the century Valencia, Pep’s Barca, and an unnamed Argentine club.

    Good read in the NYTimes here:


  • I saw both the penalty incidents on Arsenalist out of Toronto, and my first reaction was a penalty for both, so Sean Dyche can be as angry as he likes, we deserved the win.

    Of course MotD on the BBC failed to show the Bellerin pen, as it didn’t suit their plucky, unlucky Burnley narrative but sod them, we won so suck it up.

    Huddersfield Town this Wednesday will be just as difficult, they’ll be organised and difficult to break down so I hope the Emirates crowd is patient and supportive…

  • Kev–

    As Town plays ‘nine-in-the-bus’ it’s going to be likely near as tough.
    City today got a PEN after back-to-back dives by Sterling (second was given).
    Then Sterling managed to direct a pinballed shot into the net for the winner.

    One of Town’s MF players La Parra was red-carded today after the game for ‘clashing’ with Sane.
    Photo I saw– La Parra grabbed Sane by the jaw.
    Possible 3-game ban. Will a ruling will occur before Tuesday?


  • Agreed Kev, and Rambo did not dive at all. You try and jump up towards an oncoming ball whilst simultaneously being pushed in the lower back… you will go sprawling like a leaping salmon. So glad Alexis kept the bal down on the floor so the keeper could not reach it below his body; any height on it and he would have saved it. Very big three points, and only MU left to play in the north west this season.

  • Absolutely a push in the back Total, if Aaron hadn’t made it look worse he probably wouldn’t have got it, but it was a definite foul, our players have to be street wise it’s just the way it is.

    JW, it’s gonna be a very tight game on Wednesday, but good practice for the visit of Mourinho.
    How much does Arsene rotate for Huddersfield, does he rotate at all?
    Probably not much tbh, although he can bring on fresh legs from the bench earlier in the game if it’s going well.

  • If Giroud is healthier than he looked against Koln?
    He might be the choice against a packed box.
    Though, IMO, the reason Giroud seemed to lack energy (vs Koln) was the paucity of good crosses and corners. Could see where Xhaka and Giroud might do well through the air on Wed.
    Wouldn’t mind seeing Jack picking the lock from the hole too.


  • That’s a good call JW, maybe give Ramsey a breather as he’s gonna be stretched by the ManU midfield, I wonder if Theo will be fit?

  • Monday morning here so some time for some quarterbacking, as we say…

    JW… Cheers for the NYTimes article. Very interesting with lots of intriguing hints about ways the stats people are trying to integrate their stuff into the “team play” elements of the game we love. Burnley really did impress me. The speed at which they got forward AND got back into their defensive shape was pretty stunning, I thought.

    We held our own against their counterattacks (and their good possession play) and all their set pieces (many coming from whistle, whistle, blow, blow…Lee Mason, but plenty of corners too). If we can keep that group together this season I like our chances of inching up the table further and further. Nacho, Mustafi and Kos are covering for one another nicely without too much confusion. Bellerin and Kolasinac are definitely stronger going forward but they too are holding their positions well so that players and balls only get around them in ways the central three (and Cech and maybe Xhaka) can predict. Keep the clean sheets coming, I say…

    About nicking the full points rather than just one… Well, it’s probably best not to return to the scene of the crime… My guess is that the jury might be split on the final decision. Those from Burnley would see a fish-flop from a guy who was nowhere near getting to the ball; those from N. London, a brutal push in the back with our guy lucky not to be wearing a neck-brace from the resulting whiplash (and their guy lucky not to get a straight red and a suspension for the assault)… After all, despite all the video (from all the angles) we’re now living in a post (or non) reality world… Make up your own truth… You’re not guilty if you deny it; it’s not a lie if you believe it… Etc., etc., etc…

    I guess I could watch it on the internet tapes (no telly tape for me this week)… I even hung around a bit after the Town-City match because they had Mark Clattenburg in the studio to analyze some decisions and I thought he’d be looking at our incident. I will say this: Clattenburg’s hair restoration is an unmitigated success… 😮 Instead, it was a canned piece showing several “difficult” situations for refs including the Mustafi foul on Jay Rodriguez (of West Brom) from earlier in the season. All in the studio agreed it was a clear pen and that the ref screwed up by not pointing to the spot after Rodriguez got up and took the shot which Cech blocked onto the post. Play the advantage, then give the pen, said Clattenburg… I recount all this because I think a similar thing might’ve happened on the Bellerin foul. If he’d gone down, maybe it would have been given…

    Anyhow, best to move on (enjoy the points) and build on the performance. Some midweek changes in attack are fine by me but I’d keep the same group at the back. We’ve got midweek matches until early January (and even more if, dennis forbid, the kids beat the Hammers to make the league cup semis)… Hopefully the early midweek matches (final Europa group match and the West Ham match) suggest some 2nd teamers who might fit in well with the first group for the league matches where more than just a first 11 (or 14) will be needed. My guess is that we’ll be seeing more illnesses, slight knocks, etc., etc… but hopefully with instantaneous recoveries to full match fitness. Festive Times…

  • 17HT, I respect you being the salmon against the stream but I reckon most on here are fair football supporters and say it as they see it. On top of that, most of the neutrals also believe it was a penalty. Some believe Aaron made the most of it but I believe he is not that sort of player. I suggest you ask your son to give you a push in the back as soon as you have jumped up from the ground and see how you go sprawling.

    The defender made a deliberate attempt to get Rambo off balance. Everybody saw it but most importantly the ref did. Penalty. However, for what it is worth, I have no doubt he would not have given this one if he had not decided against a pen when Bellerin was fouled earlier in the game.

  • TA–
    My apology– I’ve posted a near-identical post twice– and neither has shown up.
    (But I did compose it in my handy-dandy Memento notes app– so I do have it!)

    If both posts appear? Please delete either– thanks!


  • 17HT–

    As for the use of stats in team play? You’re gonna’ love this!
    I dug up this NYT article from last FEBRUARY– that might give some insight into the decision-making of the handlings of the Sanchez and Ozil (and Ox!) contract situations based on formula-driven stat-analysis

    Arsenal’s StatDNA in-house math/science crew– from what I’m reading in this article:

    — are seemingly on the same cutting edge as just a few Major League Baseball teams these past 3 years. From the basis of ‘Sabermetrics’– the system developed by Bill James (longtime baseball statistician/historian)– a new hybrid has been created. Taking into account many more granular factors (ex.: personal player traits, history, and performance projections) to build a successful team.

    1 of 2

  • 2 of 2

    My hometown Houston Astros just won the World Series (1st time in their 56yr history) using this hybrid system. Our assistant coaches are in high demand (one as new Manager of a rival already using the system). I could explain several ways the Astros have lifted their entire organization to excellence in just 5 years– but simply? It mirrors the early-Wenger/Arsenal teams that found stark advantages in Wenger’s ideas– and reaped successes before the rest of the league caught on.

    What’s occurring in baseball– is wholesale acceptance of this hybrid methodology. The manager/coach-types who long made decisions by visual means alone? Are about to be swept out of jobs– and replaced by younger men with an adherence to, and talent with, statistical application. Many more MLB teams are hiring computer science/math staff at a high-clip.

    Appears to me– one of the key reasons for Arsene’s continued enthusiasm to continue in his role (in spite of overwhelming criticism and pressure)? Is for the chance to re-revolutionize the PL.

    IMHO– this shines a new and quite different light on Wenger’s motivations.
    As well as the behind-the-scenes machinations with new incoming backroom personnel.


  • Great post and comments, I Just saw the game, They were just so defensive, we were lucky to get the win, even though we should’ve had 2 penalties really. They were even wasting time pretty early, because they didn’t think they could score on us and win.

    I’m with Kev and Jw. I don’t see why Jack doesn’t start midweek… Perfect time to rotate, and get him a league start.
    Also interesting thought of Giroud maybe starting this week. If not a start, early substitution to share minutes more ,maybe.

  • The way Huddersfield played against Citeh meant that they aren’t pushovers.
    We needed to play better against them, and it is another potential banana skin match.

    Jack is a better player compared to Iwobi, and you can see the movements of the players being better when he came on.

    I am with Jnyc. Better start him and you will see good results.

  • Hi all..
    JK agreed with you and Jnyc.. Wilshere player better than Iwobi ini our last game.. so he must start first if fit.. that will be a great motivation for all..
    I like to see him playing with Xhaka and Ramsey ini the middle..

    HT isn’t an easy team to handle.. but we had a great record at home.. And we will keep the record clear. Hehehehe.

    I don’t know will Ozil be ready for MU.. I hope so.. but if not, Wilshere muat be ready to take his job.. and HT is the right team to see all the possibility..

    Let’s go hunt.. dubdubdubdubdubdub… (Baby shark sound..) hehehehe..

  • JK, I love Jack and will like to see him starting, sooner than later, but I fear he is not there physically, despite his best efforts at disguising it. It is for this reason I differ a bit on the “better player than Iwobi” comment, on a conditional premise: when Jack is fully fit and firing. Iwobi was needed to do a job in the early periods of the game and I am not sure I’ll trust Jack that early at Burnley, with what was at stake. So, the manager took the correct decision starting a tested player. I watch Iwobi closely in games (for obvious reasons, as Nigeria preps for the World Cup). Other than my view that he doesn’t relish the defensive side of the game and merely goes through the motions when appearing to track back, but with no intention to put in a tackle, I think he is effective going forward and has a great understanding of the use of space and the denial of the use of space. On Sunday, aside from Mustafi and Ramsey, he was one of our more effective players, in my honest view.

  • As soon as Jack joined the team we became stronger through the middle, in front of the ‘D’. This was crucial for also becoming stronger from the wings. Jack allowed us to control the game in all areas and we found better gaps as a result. Iwobi, unfortunately, was a passenger in the second half (yet to watch the first half).

  • Eris, one notable point about Iwobi is when Alexis tried to pass the ball to him he misread the intention.

    After Jack came on Sanchez and him had better understanding of each other and that worked wonders.

  • Gosh, JK. Just one event/instance and that’s the man “marked”? Alexis isn’t the easiest passer to predict and the onus should be on him to be precise. I noticed it also that Iwobi is wary of getting things wrong with Alexis and probably chose the ‘safe’ position, albeit the wrong one. Like I stated, Jack came on at the right time in the game when fitness levels have started to wane, so FairPlay to him for showing some good moments.

    TA, maybe you should see the first half and how the hosts were the stronger side, thus making it imperative we needed someone with the skill set Iwobi provides: closing spaces and the guile in offensive areas.

  • If I have some time, Eris, I will watch the first half as well. I think you know that I am a big fan of Iwobi and have high hopes for him. I also know that you rate Jack almost as high as I do, so no worries.

    Spuds lost three points yesterday against the Foxes and that should be a warning sign for us. Tough game tonight against Huddersfield, no doubt. What have they got to lose coming to the home of football on a Wednesday night in late November. Feck all! And if we are not totally focussed, energetic and deadly when the chances come our way, this could turn ugly.

    I don’t think the line up will change much tonight. If Ozil is fit he will start ahead of Iwobi and the rest will be the same. Wenger is unlikely to rotate too much as all the ‘first team’ players are fit and well rested over the last few months. Now it is time to push on on the basis of OGAAT. Enjoy the game FFGs.

  • Nah Eris, I saw a few times in both the first and second halves that Iwobi did not click with his teammates. They were not able to predict where he wanted to run, and so did the other way around.

    TA, I understand that you rate Iwobi highly, but somehow on the wings the impact of being unable to defend is worse than being in the central positions.

    More to follow….

  • Eris.. Iwobi used to play as a super-sub in his country team.. so why don’t we try it also..
    We never see Ramsey Wilshere Xhaka together.. So we can’t say nothing.. but still worth it to try..

    Hope we learned a lot from Burnley’s game.. cause HT will be as hard as them..
    And maybe Wilshere Will be our truff card.. hehehehe..

  • Even though I expect us to play the same starting eleven as against Spuddies, I could also see Wenger start Elneny instead of Rambo, Jack instead of Ozil and Lacazette and Giroud up-front. So

    Koz – Must – Nacho
    —- Xhaka-Elneny—
    Bel ————– Kola

  • TA.. I don’t think Giroud Will play and Sanchez drop.. If Sanchez dropped than Welbeck Will fill his post.. not Giroud..

    I hope to see Wilshere to.. but more deeper role.. along with Xhaka and Ramsey as our three Musketeers in the middle.

  • Henry, Iwobi as sub is worth a try (and we have done so many times, to not so good effect, tbh). Who knows? If he comes to expect it and is focused on doing his bit, he may start to reach his potentials. As for Nigeria, he does start most games, unless everyone is fit and he’s kept as a sub (usually, to the annoyance of most Nigerian fans).

    I also expect a strong side, which should include Alexis. Welbeck may start but it will only be a sentimental decision because, he’s only just returning from injury and may be trying too hard to please Southgate, to the detriment of team play. United won 4-2 yesterday, but just on the way Watford started, that scoreline flattered them, forget what Jose Mourinho said about scoring 7, post-match. United only started to play after going 2 up, from silly errors by the Watford defence, where they should have been decisive.

    Tough game expected tonight; but we can make it easier if we start fast and never let up.

  • Total, I get entirely where you are coming from, that is focus on Huddersfield first, get the points and then worry about ManU.
    But like you I think that a change or two wouldn’t go amiss, Koscielny for example, let’s not risk our best centre-back especially as Holding, BFG and even Chambers could come in a do a job against a team that’s modus operandi is to park the bus.

    Terrible news 1 re: Dermot Drummy, only 55, I saw him play as a youth and reserve at Highbury, a tricky little midfielder who probably lacked the pace to make it at the top level, developed into a top youth coach at Arsenal and was poached by Chelsea.

    Terrible news 2 re: Santiago, who I’ve read has tweeted that he’s had to have yet another operation on his ankle, not a major procedure but how much more does this poor guy have to suffer?

    Finally did you see that piece in Antoine Griezmanns recent book about Wenger wanting to sign him, then leaving his high and dry because he wouldn’t make a decision – after Greizmann had spent that summer turning down advances from other interested clubs, eventually signing on or about deadline day for Atletico.

  • So?
    What is that high-pitched, just-off-key, siren call I’m hearing from halfway around the world?
    Why– it sounds like 90,000* tiny violins, wailing in time and unison, measuring for all– yet another incredibly unfair result for Those Lousy Neighbors™.

    Among choice headline descriptors today:
    ‘Laments’. ‘Bemoans’. ‘Rues’.
    ‘Malaise’. ‘Unlucky’. ‘Cursed’.
    My personal fave? ‘Sloppy’.
    Over 9 days? In a flip of the switch?
    Those media-darling ‘power-shifters’ get jolted by the press.
    (Just what do you serve with a ‘sloppy spud’?)

    For a club doing their best to imitate mid-00s Arsenal (but doing it better!)?
    Heading into their own stadium-building austerity era?
    Is it ever-too-early to keep mentioning: ‘Nine years since their last trophy’?

    Make mine a double-schadenfreude please barkeep!

    *Capacity at Arsenal’s Second Home Of Football (SHOF).

  • Correct me if I am misremembering.
    After Cazorla’s first ankle (Malleolar) surgery– he began playing again before the wound had healed completely– reinjuring himself in the 6-0 CL rout at Ludogorets. Believe I recall reading this. The ‘ensuing’ infection– sounds to me– as if it had unknowingly become Santi’s primary affliction.

    Also sounds as if Cazorla may have another underlying condition causing an immunodeficiency.
    Could mean until discovered/treated– his wounds may not ever heal. I suffer a GI condition that places me at a similar risk.

    Had both hip joints replaced in 2013– 4 weeks apart. After the first procedure, my GI condition flared (internal bleeding)– putting the 2nd operation at risk of cancellation by my surgeon, who (had just accepted the position of orthopedic surgeon for the Denver Broncos) was retiring from private practice, and relocating days after the scheduled date.

    This was the juncture where I seriously questioned trusting only traditional medical treatment. Without details– I’ll express that I mixed outside-the-box logic with a limited knowledge of biology– to suppress the flareup within the required week’s time. The second procedure was performed. (Self-rehabbed and was practicing softball again within 4 months at age 56.)

    Suspect that Santi Cazorla may suffer an immunodeficiency condition.
    If true, the point of no return may be long past.
    Possibly prior to that Ludogorets match.

    That? Would indeed be sad news.


  • Hi fellas… Just catching up after a very busy couple of days… Just a few more chores this morning and I should be able to get a live-blog up and running for the match… I think there will be some rotation but I haven’t got a clue who might be involved. I’d love to wade in on some of the comments and debates above but no time now…


  • That’s quite a lot of hospital JW, hip replacements at that age seems seriously young, you must have been in a lot of pain.

    I’m off today 17tino so looking forward to joining everyone later, but I have a curry to tackle beforehand.

  • Well… Consider me very angry as our game is NOT on the television. That’s what you get when you assume things..

    So, no live-blog and I think the best I can do is listen on Arsenalplayer… 😦

    I even copied the line-ups getting ready to write the intro to the new post…

    Arsenal: Cech; Koscileny, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez. Subs: Ospina Mertesacker, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Welbeck, Giroud

    Huddersfield: Lossl; Cranie, Schindler, Jorgensen; Hadergonaj, Quaner, Hogg, Mooy, Lowe; Mounié, Kachunga. Subs: Green, Smith, Ince, Whitehead, Malone, Williams, Depoitre

    Only one change from the line-up at Burnley, Ozil in for Iwobi. I’m a bit surprised as I thought there might be a couple of changes… I thought we performed quite well against an exceptionally well-drilled Burnley team in a very (very) pacy match. We definitely were the better team in the 2nd half. If you could split the three points (you can’t…) I’d have happy to take two of them and give one to Burnley.

    Today I want all three… 😀

  • JW… I echo Kev’s thoughts about your hips… Me? Currently I have some shoulder worries from a ski fall 8 months ago. It’s manageable but not getting better… The surgery (rotator cuff) is pretty major… Not as bad as two hips, I’d guess…

    Also, I really appreciate the NYTimes links… Interesting stuff about trying to bring some analytical stuff to a game that seems (to me to be) extremely resistant to such efforts. The bit about Park and Chamakh seems about right…

    As for the Jack vs Iwobi debate… Again, I have to swim against the current. To me, it’s about being able to match the pace of the game. Perhaps Jack looked the (slightly) better player as Burnley slowed in the final 20-25 minutes… My memory, however, is still trying to shake the several plays he bungled in the previous match at Koln. Maybe you’re bound to do that a few times when you’re on the ball as much as he was. That match was played at a crawl (IMO) compared to league matches so I’d keep him in reserve hoping our opponents are tiring and that he can execute some of the plays he couldn’t in the Europa league match. Seems a big ask, and I’d prefer we sub in Iwobi if we need some late creativity + pace… Sorry…

    Still very angry I’m unable to watch the match today…

  • Already 1-0. Good strong early marker. Lacazette with the goal after some combination playe at the edge of the box, involving Xhaka, Ramsey and Lacazette.

  • 1-nil after 3 mins they’re telling me… Lacazette from Ozil? Ramsey also involved somehow… Guess I’ll look for it on the Arsenalist?…

  • We need to sustain the tempo until we are more comfortable. No letting up, please. That’s something we can be guilty of, certain games. HT look like a team which only needs a little encouragement to cause us trouble.

  • Hey, they showed the goal on my big screen! Nice build up and Ramsey did very well to re-angle Xhaka’s pass with a glancing touch. Lacazette was very clinical with the finish, of course…

    Weird day on the telly… First, about 10 mins of Chelsea-Swansea but now ManCity-So’ton… Maybe they’ll be showing all the goals or maybe the Arsenal goal came so early they could wedge it in…

  • Been rather too easy, so far. However, these are the games we’re focus may be lost at the most inopportune moment. We need to concentrate even as we stroll through the game. Get a couple more, then ring the changes.

    A header by the visitors, from a free kick from our right, goes over Cech’s goal. A warning about how this team can be dangerous. We need to press them back.

  • Mustafi goes down injured from making a tackle which was to make up for a misplaced pass he had made. Hope it isn’t serious. Lacazette also seems to be limping a bit. We are taking it too easy, in my opinion and that may be with an eye on the weekend’s game. Mustafi is back on.

  • A nice combination move sees Lacazette beat the offside trap and his curled effort was bundled over as it was right on the goal line.

  • Poor attempt at a whipped in cross by Bellerin. That one went to Row Z, with 4 Arsenal shirts to aim for in the box.

  • Mustafi has saved Xhaka’s blushes there. His loose touch failed to reach his defender and Munier latched onto it and but for Mustafi going with him till he cleared the ball, they had a shot on.

    We are lucky not to be punished by some sloppy play in our box, involving Lacazette, Koscielny and Mustafi.

    Huddersfield are starting to raid our area and gaining in confidence, all because we’ve been sloppily giving the ball away.

  • Crowd is starting to howl their discontent at the wastefulness. No use having all that possession when we fail to be incisive. Maybe, we should have had on our B team, hopefully they are more hungry for a game in the league.

    Xhaka has just attempted a shot but was leaning back all the time and they will be picking that from the Seven sisters station.

  • Hey Eris… Cheers (big time) for the narrative commentary… Very jealous that you’ve got video for this one…

  • Half time. We’ve been laboured at times, after that early goal. If they are playing under instruction, then it isn’t doing our ambitions any good because we should be ramping up our GD with games like this, but with all of this team with an eye on Saturday, we aren’t getting the best of the team.
    Wenger described the HT side as dangerous, ostensibly because they beat United and held City to a late 2-1 win, but much of the chances they have had have been down to our give always. They were growing in confidence towards the end there and that’s got the crowd het up.

    Bring on some hungry players with something to prove so they can make this game quicker. Jack, Welbz and Calum Chambers or Giroud will be useful here, in my view.

  • That’s what I miss when not in Nigeria. We get pretty much ALL the games shown live here; cable tv. Will soon be off to Toronto in a couple of weeks and hopefully, my box gets the good games too.

    Liverpool up 1-0 at Stoke but have a free kick at the edge of the box after Minolta, Liverpool keeper, has taken out Diouf in something that should be a red card, but Stoke are giving it a go here. 41 minutes into that. It’s still 0-0 at Southampton but City are having a rough time of it.
    Chelsea v Swansea is still 0-0. Hearing Antonio Conte was sent to the stands for pitch side antics.

  • Oh, it’s actually City at home to Southampton, but they sure are giving them a game. Still 0-0.

  • Neat interplay between Ozil and Alexis results in a locked shot of Ozil’s attempted curler. He should have taken that first time instead of needing two touches.

  • Oh, and Giroud is on for Lacazette, I think. Which means we will miss Laca’s quicker footwork and runs. But then, we gain some muscle up front and a body to play off, for the other attackers. It’s end to end now. We were lucky not to be behind and from the counter, Giroud’s guided shot was blocked for a corner. Cech did well there to prevent the goal from a side that’s yet to score away.

  • Giroud in for Lacazette?

    Sounds like he just had a good chance but Town also forced a save on the break… Might need a 2nd…

  • Hey guys– been on the road since awhile before the start and have been following Eris’ calls– thank you sir! Back at the office unfortunately. Check-in later!


  • We are playing with fire at times here. But for a block by Monreal, which ricocheted towards Cech’s goal only for him to palm over the bar, we could have conceded there.

  • We do need a second goal. The visitors are emboldened now and troubling our goal like they never did in the 1st half. We have a corner and there’s a shout for handball from the resultant clearance.

  • We do need a second goal. The visitors are emboldened now and troubling our goal like they never did in the 1st half. We have a corner and there’s a shout for handball from the resultant clearance. Not given.

    Giroud weaves his way inside a disguised through ball from Ramsey and hits the post after rounding off the keeper and misplaced the rebound. He seemed a shade offside though but the ref hasn’t raised his flag.

  • I need to watch this game more closely now. Off air for a bit. We are not getting those last balls right….

  • Ozil assist. Cool as you like, from a sweeping move.

    It is 3-0 now. Sanchez. Another Ozil assist.

  • The goals….coming like London buses. You wait long for one and 3 come along at once. 😀

  • 3 nil now… Alexis to seal it…

    Announcers loved the Giroud finish but also going on and on about Ozil’s game…

  • Ozil has had an assured display. Aaron Ramsey off for Jack and Alexis off for Welbz.

  • Welbeck almost gave his usual air shot assists for Kolasinac, but he dilly-dallied on the ball till it was taken off him in the box. I expected him to put his laces through that.

  • A rasping shot from Xhaka sails over the goal after some good work by Welbeck. Jack is trying to get into the game and make things tick over.

  • Geez!
    I take a lap around the home office to put out a few brush fires– and all hell breaks loose!
    (Did make the call for Giroud yesterday *pats self on back*)


  • 5-0! Giroud. Nicked it off Kolasinac’s toe really, after Kola had juggled the ball over two Huddersfield defenders and was setting himself up for the shot into goal, albeit on his right foot.

  • That’s the game done then. Good night’s work, lads. Nice way to prep for the game on Saturday.

  • City 1-1Southampton; 80th minute. City may drop points again at home, but still to lose a game.
    Liverpool are 2-0 up at Stoke and Chelsea should see off Swansea leading 1-0. Everton is leading West Ham 4-0. What’s Moyes doing there if he cannot get them to play?

  • Yes.. 5-0 to HT.. wow..
    If We do the same level of playing.. will burn MU down.. for sure..

  • Thanks Eris for the narrative… 5-0 looks good… I guess I’ll watch the final 3 mins at City…

  • Aaaw! After Southampton held on for the 90 minutes, ref goes on to give 5 minutes stoppage time and Raheem Sterling notches another late goal recorded at 96 minutes. Very close to another 2 points dropped there by City. They will remember today, if they do lift the trophy in May.

  • Alexandre Lacazette is out for the United game, with a groin injury, according to the gaffer. Terrible news!

  • @Eris–

    So I’m sitting here thinking with Laca out vs ManU– the obvious call is again– Giroud.
    And I’m certain Maureen is thinking same.
    So– Theo on the bench. And– Eddie.

    I know ManU isn’t Norwich. I get it.
    Just maybe? Eddie has antifreeze in his veins– and knows no better.


  • Lacazette groin, a groin normally means 3 weeks, so Alex is out (?) until mid-December, that’s a real shame as his understanding with Ozil and Alexis was really developing.

  • Eris, that was some cool reporting there, I really enjoyed your input.

    I saw some brief highlights on MotD and taking all things into consideration, like the BBC’s habit of ignoring as much as they possibly can of the good stuff Arsenal do, the Gunners looked sharp, incisive and slick, their approach play in the final third was superb and the finishing clinical.
    Ozil is at the top of his game and if he’s either playing for a new Arsenal contract or not, I’m gonna enjoy him anyway. What else can we do?

  • Finally, that now 12 successive home wins on the spin in the EPL.
    I’m not sure if that’s some kind of record for Wenger or in the Premier League era?
    But our 13th is against, you know who….

    Don’t have nightmares. 😉

    And btw, my curry was delicious, night all….

  • Good morning guys, I was worried that OIlie will slow us down when he came on, but I guess Rambo, Ozil and Alexis did a good job of running at the opposition and Ollie was our fox in the box.

    I do not see manu** as easy as Huddersfield, and we had Cech and the defenders to thank for the clean sheet. However, I am not sure if we should expect the same back 3 facing manu**, as Kos’ dodgy Achilles might not hold up. But then, we only have a player that can replace him: Debuchy (unless he is injured again).

    Should we keep our winning run intact?

  • JK I didn’t know if Kos got any injured..??
    He was brilliant lastnight..
    Our Three Musketeers were solid and strong..
    I can’t see any reason for Wenger to change it.. especially not against MU.

    But we will only really know about our whole team fitness a day before game.. I guest.. So let’s hope for the best..

  • Ko Henry,

    Kos cannot play 3 games in a week. It is too risky for him.
    Debuchy is a better bet and his understanding with the team is good.

    Let’s hope that everybody is fit and Welbeck should be Lacazette’s replacement up front.


  • JK–

    I agree that it should be Welbz up front with these thoughts:

    Danny’s speed and work rate requires attention; dictating to ManU’s defense.
    Danny has scored vs ManU each of his 3 seasons with Arsenal.
    Giroud off the bench (for 20-30mins) to change the attack if necessary.


  • I think it will be Danny Welbeck (some Mancs here in the office call him Danny Welsh*t) on the left and Alexis through the middle, and Ozil on the right. I reckon that would work well.

  • Lol, jw1. Just seen your 00:11 and would have objected to starting Giroud ahead of Welbeck, but seeing as you have adjusted your position and agreed with JK, I’ll just keep my powder dry. To my mind, Lacazette’s injury is the excuse Wenger needed to turn Danny lose on his former employers. Giroud coming on head of him against Huddersfield is a decoy to fool JM about the pecking order of strikers that’s available to us on Saturday.

    JK, I know Koscielny has a dodgy Achilles but the game is so crucial that we’ll have to make sure he’s ready to play and stay on full game. When Debuchy didn’t even make the bench for Huddersfield, you get the feeling he’s not going to be ahead of any of the defenders who were part of the 18, midweek. Which, for me, is such a shame as I rate him.

    An honest question here: can Debuchy do much worse than Bellerin, on current form? I will trust him over Debuchy, to keep Young and Rashford/Martial quiet, over Bellerin who’s displayed an annoying habit of being too easily bullied and beaten, of late. Then, his decision making in crucial goal scoring situations has disappointed for some time now. I dunno. Wenger seems to like him, so we have to hope he does a job.

  • The key match officials for saturday’s game at the Emirates have been named as Andre Marriner while Anthony Taylor is the 4th official. Both men coming together doesn’t fill me with too much optimism for fair officiating, given their antecedents with us. This gives added impetus for our lads to come out swinging and give a great performance that will defy the standards of officiating.

    Who can forget it was Andre Marriner who couldn’t tell Kieran Gibbs from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and issued the red card to Gibbs, wrongfully. Even more recently, In the game at Stoke, he failed to call a clear hand ball against Kurt Zouma, denying us a potential penalty kick. It is curious that the Assistants on that day are the same named for this game too; one of them got an offside call wrong, which also denied us another potential goal. But for those two men, we may have had a fair shot at a win instead of the L standing against us for that game.

    Let’s hope we shame them this time.

  • @’Eris
    Imagine that Giroud was both the better choice vs Town– and– leaving Welbz chomping-at-the-bit to (as in American football): “Open up a can of whup-ass on ’em!”

    And then– there are these goal-savers by Bells:

    You can’t learn speed.


  • Hey fellas… Busy (again) today so not much time to write… Once again, however, I will try and put in a word for another guy who came up through the youth ranks and, IMO, is doing a fine job for us… One Hector Bellerin. (Of course, the last debate where I defended Iwobi over Wilshere featured two players Arsenal picked up either young or VERY young…)

    Yes, Bellerin is never gonna bulk up and be a Kolasinac (or a Bacary Sagna) and, I think, he’s still a step or two slower than he was before his injury a while back. He’s also not catching too much of a break when it comes to getting his crosses in for assists or his shots past his marker lately…or getting deep into the box into scoring positions… esp. when compared to the Bosnian Beast (or the Herzegovinan Hulk…even if he was actually born in the same town as my mother: Karlsruhe, Germany) on the opposite side of the pitch. That said, I believe his positioning relative to getting caught forward on the break AND in directing wide men (and the balls they’re playing) into spots where the middle three can handle them is at least as good as Kolasinac if not a whole lot better.

    For better or worse, Debuchy is just doing time at the club before his next move, I’m afraid, and, as always, people seem to appreciate those players who have been out for a long time, which makes sense given that football is a game of repeated failure, staying at it, and, once in a great while, having some success, which we, as fans, hold in dear if somewhat hazy memory. My recent memory tells me, however, that Debuchy gave away a penalty (albeit a soft one but in a position where he probably didn’t need to leave his feet) at Koln whereas (everybody tells me that) Bellerin should have been GIVEN a pen at Burnley… Also, the running involved in playing the wingback role I (and Wenger) see as something for younger guys (Nelson, 17, ahead of Debuchy, 32, in the cup games, Bellerin–still just 22–ahead of Kos, 32, and Kolasinac, 24, ahead of Nacho, 31. Debuchy getting healthy maybe allowed AW to sanction the sale of Gabriel back to Spain as, if he plays, he’s clearly gonna be part of the back three…

    I do think we need some longer term competition for Bells now that the Ox is gone. Ramsey–in order to wedge Wilshere into the line-up (I’d prefer Iwobi…)–is mooted for Bellerin’s spot even though he’s a player famous for abandoning his positional responsibilities. With the (awesome) Kos behind him, it’s possible we could get away with (essentially) an additional attacker (and no right-wingback), I don’t like that idea either…

    To me, it’s all quite strange, but maybe it’s folks bracing for his eventual return to Barcelona (his talent will always lead to such links, I fear)…even if his most recent Arsenal contract stretches over SIX years…

    Turns out I did have some things to say… Though now I really need to get on my horse…

    Laters… 🙂

  • Yeah 17, i do wonder what would happen if Bellerin went back to Barca, because as much as i like Debuchy, he’s not for long term at this point.
    I do wonder though, if Barcelona see Bellerin as such a hot prospect now. His stock may have dropped slightly, and they usually pursue top shelf.

  • Guys, any preview for tomorrow?

    In my view, manu** will be looking at counter attacking while sitting deep, so our formation have to be water tight in counter attacks from the central positions.

    We might also see ourselves under pressure like the citeh match, when we did well with our defense. But we must not fall asleep at any point of time, as their finishing is much better than Huddersfield.

    And starting with a pacy front 3 will have better results.

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